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How To Build Trust In Sales

Building trust in selling can seem daunting. However, it can be an enjoyable journey of relationship-building and as this journey will be characterized by mutual respect and value-addition.

Traditionally, sales had a more product-focused approach where the main aim was to equip the sales team with thorough product knowledge. Sale professionals expected this would be enough to entice prospects and close deals. Nowadays, things have certainly changed and gaining trust in sales has shifted towards a more customer-centric approach.

Customers don’t necessarily mistrust sales representatives, nor do they inherently trust them. That’s why building trust has become a critical component of any sales strategy

13+ Ways To Building Trust in Sales

Recently, Dr. Solomon, the author of ‘The Book of Trust,’ shared a survey where he found that over 75% of respondents said ‘trustworthiness’ is the most important qualification in a salesperson.

There is no doubt that building trust in sales sets any sales professional apart from the rest and not to forget, trust makes closing the deal much easier. That’s the reason why we are here to share 13+ ways to build trust that can help you sell more

1) Offer Social Proof

One powerful way to establish trust with new prospects is by offering social proof. New prospects may be unfamiliar with your business and as of today, where most  of the pitching and closing happen online. Social proof has become a significant tool in building trust with prospects.

For someone new to your business or product, testimonials from satisfied customers can turn that cold lead into a warm one.

That’s one of the reasons why collecting social proof has become a dedicated task for businesses. One way to do that is by actively encouraging satisfied customers to provide testimonials or reviews. Positive experiences from your past customers with your business can greatly impact potential client’s perceptions and trust.

2) Indulge In Active Listening

Active listening is, without a doubt, an effective sales tactic for reps. However, it goes beyond merely hearing and nodding to what the customer is saying. Active listening involves understanding and reciprocating to your customer’s context. It also shows the customer that their feedback is being valued and makes the customer feel heard and understood.

A practice that is suggested heavily in sales pitches is that two-thirds of your communication should involve listening. While the rest should be for talking.

Doing so allows you to avoid appearing desperate. It demonstrates that you genuinely care about your customer’s needs.

3) Show Empathy

Empathy can also be a potent tool in building trust in sales.

Sales are not simply about transactions, they’re about building relationships. At the heart of creating a strong relationship lies empathy.

Empathizing with your customer’s past sales experiences demonstrates genuine concern. It creates an environment where potential buyers feel open to sharing more about their needs and pain points.

As a seller you can’t fake empathy, because one, faking empathy can be sensed within no time and two, when you fake empathizing with your customer at the end of sales pitch you wouldn’t really know what’s the trigger concern that you’re customer is dealing with

 4) Ask Good Questions

In sales, asking really good questions is more important than just asking questions. You can only achieve this through active listening. Most salespeople make the mistake of diving into the features and functionalities of their products and they don’t take the time to understand their prospect’s challenges.

Today, sales strategies involve devising techniques to ask meaningful questions. Most of the time, these good questions can engage your clients and challenge their thinking. That’s why, rather than shying away from challenging questions, embrace them. Trust can be built through asking tough questions as it is built by understanding the prospect’s needs.

Also, do not be afraid to tell your prospect if you don’t understand something. This shows your commitment and curiosity, and prospects appreciate such honesty.

5) Work on your Non-Verbal Cues

Non-verbal cues can leave a powerful impression throughout a sales pitch. They are often overlooked in communications. However, they significantly impact the perception and belief in the salesperson’s credibility. Especially even more when you’re meeting a client face-to-face.

Common non-verbal cues include eye contact, facial expressions, and positive body language. By mastering these cues, you demonstrate engagement and understanding. This way you can effectively instill trust in your prospects.

6) Establish Credibility

Humans naturally fear the unknown. That’s why establishing credibility even before the sale can allay these fears. Showcasing good reviews and customer testimonials in front of your customers will infuse credibility in your buyers.

The reason why reviews and customer testimonials work so well is because they back up all the claims that you’re going to make. Displaying data and evidence as results in your case studies will support your claims and this can establish credibility.

Please don’t overlook the importance of establishing credibility in an era of online presence. An optimized social presence (through platforms like LinkedIn) and good brand awareness are definite ways to gain trust online and significantly influence the perception of potential clients.

7) Trust Your Prospect First

As a sales rep, you must show trust in your prospects before you expect them to trust you. In today’s world, not only do prospects not trust you, but they no longer trust themselves with the ability to make a good decision. There are two reasons for that:

  • Your prospects have two many options to choose from
  • Your prospects aren’t focused

In such a scenario, you have to make prospects trust themselves first before they trust you and in order to do that you have to communicate in a way that shows you align and believe with their thinking.

For example, You can say ‘You decide — I trust your judgment’ during closing to reflect your faith in your buyer’s ability to recognize value and make smart decisions.

When you express faith in your buyer’s judgement, they’re more likely to reciprocate this trust. Conveying such trust in your prospects can go a long way in boosting sales.

8) Be Consistent

Consistency is key to building trust. It should be reflected in three aspects: messaging, behaviour, and delivery.

When it comes to being consistent in your messaging, align your marketing and sales. This way, you’ll know what messaging warms up prospects. You can use the same messaging during the sales pitch.

Whereas being consistent in your behaviour makes prospects likely to trust you and once they trust you more they will listen you with open mind

Also, as you consistently deliver on your promises post-sales, you’re bound to build on an existing pile of trust. Consistently delivering on your promises helps you cross-sell, upsell, and get referrals. These are pivotal for revenue growth.

9) In Sales Pitch, Never Feel Like You Know It All

No one likes a know-it-all, especially in sales. Prospects can feel ignored or undervalued by sales reps who seemingly know everything.

It’s essential not to rush through the sales process. Instead, show curiosity towards your customer’s concerns. Be ready to admit if you don’t know something. This might feel like you are taking a step back, but you are making leaps forward in building trust.

Avoiding being a know-it-all will encourage curiosity and it shows a willingness to learn and understand.

10) Leverage Zero Sales Resistance Tactics

The best sales conversions happen when the customer never feels pitched. This is achieved by being neutral during your sales process. Neutral tone and words can trigger zero sales resistance. This can make customers feel like they’re not being pushed.

For example, using neutral words like ‘might be’ or ‘possible’ during sales conversations eliminates sales resistance. It makes prospects feel more at ease.

11) Downplay Your Sales Pitch

Instead of just praising your offerings and product, you will gain attention when you downplay your sales pitch. Here the focus needs to be on the perks of the deal toward your customer.

As you highlight how your product (or) service can solve the prospect’s issues and upgrade their situation. Make sure to use a tone where you’re slipping this information casually and make the statement sound like it’s nothing much.

For example, you can say something like, “Our product saves 100 hours per week for our customers. It’s nothing extraordinary.” But in reality, you know that saving 100 hours per week is a trigger point for your client.

Highlighting such benefits in this way will get your attention. A downplayed pitch sparks curiosity and can motivate your buyers to know more about what you offer.

12) Good Product And Industry Knowledge

Being knowledgeable and expert about your product or industry cements a strong, positive impression in your prospect’s mind. Today, where most of the information related to your product is already out there online for your prospect.

As a sales rep, if you’re repeating that same information during the sales pitch, it will not excite your customers and will definitely not contribute to your sales success.

When connected with sales, most of your prospects love to connect with an expert. An expert who can help them understand how this particular product or service can solve their problems. Hence to make sure that your sales reps are experts, your organization’s needs to come up with sales training that is best suited to equip such scenarios.

But no matter how good the quality of the sales training and materials you put out there, sales reps aren’t going to remember most of that. To make your sales team more efficient with your product knowledge and industry insights, Featurewave can integrate with your CRM to help sales reps with contextual guidance and AI sales assistance.

Our sales enablement tool will make your interactions with prospects more strategic and well-informed. Therefore making your sales rep shine as experts with good product and industry knowledge

13) Have Integrity And Be Honest

Integrity and honesty in sales not only involves being open about your product’s limitations. It also involves suggesting alternatives to customers, even if it risks losing a sale. That’s how you become a trusted advisor.

When you don’t see clients as a good fit for your offer, gaslighting or lying about your delivery can harm your reputation. It builds mistrust. That’s the reason, even before you onboard a new customer, you need to be very clear about what you and your product can and can’t do.

By upholding your integrity and honesty in the long run, you build a reputation as a trustworthy advisor. This is more beneficial than making a single sale filled with over-the-top promises.

14) Your Goal is to Be Liked

In sales, prospects first have to like you, then they will trust you, and later, they will buy from you. To be liked, you need to be genuinely likeable.

You can make people feel liked by using techniques mentioned in this blog post. For example, practices like active listening and asking good questions. However, not everybody can master those arts right away. Usually, you need to acknowledge the fact that it’s more likely to happen when you build your Sales Acumen from countless experiences.

Being liked by your customers enhances trust, engagement, and reciprocation. This makes the salesperson more influential and persuasive in their pitch. As mentioned already, likeability also improves trust with your customers.

15) Focus on Positive Energy and Movement

First impressions are critical. A Harvard University study suggests that a negative first impression might require up to eight positive encounters to change. Therefore, maintaining positive energy is necessary during challenging sales scenarios.

That being said, not everyday you are going to wake up and be positive towards sales.  This is where developing a personal mantra can prepare you mentally and helps you stay enthusiastic on your off days and breaks. Your personal mantra can be anything like writing small affirmations or going through sales routines, or circling back your thoughts to your actual ‘Why.’

A personal mantra can help maintain a positive approach, especially when facing negative or neutral situations. You should know that a contagious positive attitude will not build rapport but also sets the tone for a successful sales interaction.

Wrap

Your team can use the tactics mentioned in this blog post to build trust in the sales process.

By now, you should know that not seeing things from the customer’s perspective reduces customer trust in any sales equation. On the other end, once the trust is broken building that trust might take months, if not years.

Building trust in selling can seem daunting. However, it can be an enjoyable journey of relationship-building and as this journey will be characterized by mutual respect and value-addition. It goes well beyond just a single sale.

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